The 145 km long Istrian Y motorway forms a motorway complex linking the Istrian region with the rest of Croatia. Due to a rise of traffic and safety issues during the summer months, the Y needs to be extended by a 28 km long second carriageway costing approximately EUR 165 million. In order to close the investment circle, the motorway’s operator Bina Istra Ltd. requested an extension of its highway management concession agreement by an additional five years, until 2032. It is expected that the extension of the concession agreement will promote regional growth and investment, as well as enhance public safety and reduce congestion.
In March, Croatia notified the European Commission of the request to extend the concession agreement. The EC examined the measure under EU State aid rules regarding services of general economic interest and EU public procurement rules by which companies can be compensated for the extra cost of providing a public service under certain conditions, and found that:
- Bina Istra will not be overcompensated in case of (partial) extension of the concession agreement;
- The extension of the concession agreement is proportionate to the amount needed to finance the construction of the new stretch of carriageway
The extension has only been approved for a period of 18 months and is conditional upon certain commitments relating to the repayment of Bina Istra′s debt. .